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  • Gavin King

    Tropic Now editor

    Email Gavin King

    Neil Finn to bring a stirring mix of classic and contemporary tunes to Cairns

    There are moments on Neil Finn’s latest album so delicate you get the feeling the songs might shatter into tiny pieces if you turn the volume up too loud.

    Released to critical acclaim late last year, Out Of Silence is Finn’s sophisticated response to the mad, mad world we find ourselves living in. 

    Put on some headphones and play this album for some respite, a shelter from the storm. Music journos are calling it orchestral pop adorned as it is with gentle string arrangements, falsetto vocals and small accompanying choir.

    Beyond that though, Out Of Silence seems to offer a living, breathing, beautifully composed antidote to it all; the fire and fury, the geopolitical uncertainty, the dumbing down of culture, the recurring curse of ‘isms from terror to race to sex.


    If some of Crowded House’s greatest songs delivered comfort to troubled souls – think Private Universe, Don’t Dream It’s Over and Fall At Your Feet, then Out of Silence wants to provide solace to our troubled world. And so it does.

    “I think there’s a measure of un-self-consciousness about the way the songs come about but at certain points I had a similar thought about the making of it,” Finn tells TropicNow.

    “I thought… it’s a very brutal age we live in, in terms of the information coming at us, the sort of bigotry and polarised opinions and the way the news is coming at us. It felt to me like peaceful music was a very worthy thing, a little antidote to the brutality of the times.

    “But that was not the way I started it… it was something that gave me reassurance that I was on a good path.”


    While piano-laden tracks like Love Is Emotional and Alone are gentle and contemplative, the new material isn’t intended to be heard with restrained reverence in concert.

    When Finn brings his band to Munro Martin Parklands this Friday night, it will be a rollicking, rollercoaster revue. Not least because Out Of Silence will be fresh to the stage.

    Of course, new tracks will collide with Crowded House classics, so you can expect audience sing-a-longs to follow plaintive reflections on love, life and the universe.

    Neil’s son Liam – who co-produced Out Of Silence – will join his dad on stage on Friday night. The pair are excited to debut some never-before-heard tracks from their upcoming album, at this stage titled Light Sleeper due out mid-year.

    “Liam’s got some killer songs on this new record we’ve made together, and we’ll be introducing some of them at these shows,” Neil said. “So we’ll be playing a few of those along with all the other stuff from go to woah.

    “It’s been a long time since I’ve been in Cairns. Splitz End definitely played there and I think Crowded House did too in the early days but I could be wrong about that. Maybe it’s just the Split Enz trip I remember.

    "But anyway it’s been a long time, it’s been far too long, and it’s going to be wonderful.”

    Combine Finn’s extraordinary oeuvre with the splendid surrounds of the Parklands – and the fact he hasn’t played in Cairns for decades - and live music experiences won’t get much better, anywhere.

    Don't miss Neil and Liam Finn, supported by Sydney singer-songwriter and Triple J darling Alex the Astronaut this Friday February 9 at Munro Martin Parklands. Get your tickets here.